USC played its worst game of the season in a 58-51 loss to Vanderbilt Saturday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena. How bad was it? Well, the Gamecocks shot just 25 percent from the floor (13-52) and only managed one fast break basket. Even a lay-up was hard for them. It was ugly for sure, but not as ugly as coach Frank Martin thought it was going to be.
“I can’t tell you I’m surprised,” Martin said afterword. “We were so bad yesterday that I’m surprised we played as well as we did as bad as we were yesterday. My surprise is because of the positivity, not because of the negativity.”
Yikes. Things must have been pretty ugly in practice Friday because it was pretty horrific against the Commodores Saturday. USC isn’t an offensive juggernaut by any stretch, but this was an extremely anemic performance for a team that came in averaging 73.1 points per game. The 51 points is their lowest point total of the season. Brenton Williams is the only player that reached double figures (16 points).
“We had three breakaway layups and we shot airballs on all three,” Martin said, his frustration visible. “It’s hard to win…I’m not surprised we were bad making shots because we were so lethargic yesterday.” Just how bad were they in practice? “I’ll let you pick the negative adjective and I promise I won’t call you and say you misquoted me,” Martin said.
So much for the momentum of a road win at LSU Wednesday. The Gamecocks fall to 11-6 and 1-3 in the SEC. They also hand Vanderbilt its first conference win of the season (7-9, 1-3). The Gamecocks are at Missouri Tuesday.
The USC football team was honored at halftime. Steve Spurrier was addressing the crowd and wanted to introduce Bruce Ellington. It didn’t happen. Ellington had already gone to the locker room with his basketball teammates.
- Speaking of Ellington, he finished with just seven points. It is the first time in his career he failed to score double digits against Vandy. He came in averaging 17.5 ppg against the Commodores.
- Lakeem Jackson grabbed nine rebounds to move to pass the 500 mark in career boards. He has 508 and counting.
- The Gamecocks have lost three SEC games by a total of 12 points.
- Vanderbilt has now won four in a row in the series against USC.
- Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings is 14-13 against the Gamecocks.